Many people occasionally have a sour stomach or heartburn but if you experience it quite often then you may have a Hiatal Hernia or Gastro-Esophageal Reflux or GERD.  This is where the acid in the stomach enters the esophagus causing a burning or bloated feeling.  When we lie down this can become worse as the acid reaches the throat and can cause choking or coughing.

How do you deal with this issue?  There are many causes of it but there are some things you can do that will help. 

  • Talk to your doctor.  This can develop into a serious health issue if it is not treated.  Image your esophagus being burned with acid on a daily basis.  This problem does not go away by itself and your doctor can help you find the right solutions for you.
  • Lose weight.  Obesity does contribute to this problem and if you lose weight you will have less weight on your stomach and pressing down when you are lying down.
  • Avoid alcohol prior to bed.  This can contribute to the relaxation of muscles and increase your GERD.  It will also contribute to a more disrupted sleep and a worsening of snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Avoid acidy or fatty foods especially prior to bed.  These foods can contribute to an increase in the amount of acid created in the stomach and will make your issue worse.
  • Tilt the head of your bed up.  For those of use without a special bed you can use a wedge pillow or use something to lift the legs at the top of bed.  This will keep the acid from rising into the throat.
  • Over the counter medications.  These are only a short term solution to the problem and should only be seen as a temporary solution.

If you wake up gasping or choking, with a sour taste in your mouth, or feeling gassy or bloating on a regular basis than GERD may be playing havoc with your sleep.  Take the time to talk to your doctor it could be a simple solution to a good night sleep.

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